If anyone took the media caricatures of UKIP seriously – and the numbers suggest not many voters did – then UKIP’s new batch of MEPs would likely comprise of a ragtag of three-headed monsters with obsessive tendencies.
Instead, the party slated by some as being sexist, racist and generally backwards has elected the most fascinatingly diverse, broad church of individuals to the European Parliament to serve for the next five years.
The profile of UKIP’s new raft of MEPs defies the unfounded, willingly ignorant claims made.
Racist? Weird that Amjad Bashir, a Muslim Yorkshireman will be representing UKIP alongside Steven Woolfe, a mixed-race City man originally from Moss Side.
Sexist? The party now has seven female MEPs, including Jill Seymour in the West Midlands and Jane Collins in Yorkshire who topped their regional lists as the lead candidates. Not because they are women – because they are bloody good.
Homophobic? Not sure that David Coburn, UKIP’s newly elected, gay Scottish MEP would quite agree with that one.
Maybe the people most out of touch aren’t those in Farage’s people’s army, but those who seek to attack and misrepresent a party they simply don’t understand.
And the beauty of it all?
These people were elected by the UKIP members in free votes, devoid of any form of discrimination. It is the perfect illustration of what can happen in a genuinely patriotic party that judges individuals by who they are rather than patronising box-ticking ceremonies. Oh how I wish our society as a whole viewed things in such a way.
Michael Heaver tweets at @Michael_Heaver